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Matthew 9:13

    Matthew 9:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But go ye and learn what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But go and take to heart the sense of these words, My desire is for mercy, not offerings: for I have come not to get the upright, but sinners.

    Webster's Revision

    But go ye and learn what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

    World English Bible

    But you go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But go ye and learn what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice: for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 9:13

    I will have mercy, and not sacrifice - Quoted from 1 Samuel 15:22. These are remarkable words. We may understand them as implying,

    1st. That God prefers an act of mercy, shown to the necessitous, to any act of religious worship to which the person might be called at that time. Both are good; but the former is the greater good, and should be done in preference to the other.

    2dly. That the whole sacrificial system was intended only to point out the infinite mercy of God to fallen man, in his redemption by the blood of the new covenant. And

    3dly. That we should not rest in the sacrifices, but look for the mercy and salvation prefigured by them. This saying was nervously translated by our ancestors, I will mild-heartedness, and not sacrifice.

    Go ye and learn - צא ולמד tse velimmed, a form of speech in frequent use among the rabbins, when they referred to any fact or example in the Sacred Writings. Nothing tends more to humble pretenders to devotion than to show them that they understand neither Scripture nor religion, when, relying on external performances, they neglect love to God and man, which is the very soul and substance of true religion. True holiness has ever consisted in faith working by love.

    I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners - Most of the common editions add, εις μετανοιαν, unto repentance; but this is omitted in the Codex Vatic. and Bezae, sixteen others, both the Syriac, both the Persic, Ethiop. Armen. Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, all the Itala except three, the Vulgate, Clemens Roman, Origen, Basil, Jerome, Augustin, Ambrose, and Barnabas. The omission is approved by Mill and Bengel. Griesbach leaves it out of the text.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 9:13

    But go ye and learn ... - To reprove them, and to vindicate his own conduct, he appealed to a passage of Scripture with which they ought to have been acquainted: "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice," Hosea 6:6. This is not a declaration on the part of God that he was opposed to "sacrifices" or "offerings for sin;" for he had appointed and commanded many, and had therefore expressed his approbation of them. It is a Hebrew mode of speaking, and means, "I prefer mercy to sacrifice;" or, "I am more pleased with acts of benevolence and kindness than with a mere external compliance with the duties of religion." Mercy here means benevolence or kindness toward others. "Sacrifices" were offerings made to God on account of sin, or as an expression of thanksgiving. They were commonly bloody offerings, or animals slain; signifying that the sinner offering them deserved to die himself, and pointing to the great sacrifice or offering which Christ was to make for the sins of the world. "Sacrifices" were the principal part of the worship of the Jews, and hence came to signify "external worship in general." This is the meaning of the word here. The sense in which our Saviour applies it is this: "You Pharisees are exceedingly tenacious of the "external" duties of religion; but God has declared that he prefers benevolence or mercy to those external duties. It is proper, therefore, that I should associate with sinners for the purpose of doing them good."

    I came not to call the righteous ... - No human beings are by nature righteous, Psalm 14:3; Romans 1:18-32; Romans 3:10-18. The Pharisees, however, "pretended" to be righteous. Christ might have meant by this answer that it was not the design of his coming to cal such persons to repentance, knowing that they would spurn his efforts, and that to a great extent they would be vain; or, more probably, he meant to affirm that his proper and only business was to call to repentance such people as he was now with. He came to seek and save such, and it was his "proper business," therefore, to associate with them.

    Repentance - See the notes at Matthew 3:2.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 9:13

    9:13 Go ye and learn - Ye that take upon you to teach others. I will have mercy and not sacrifice - That is, I will have mercy rather than sacrifice. I love acts of mercy better than sacrifice itself. Hosea 6:6.